September 1, 2009

How to Get Your Name in My Book

I am now almost half-finished writing my book about revolution, terrorism, and war in the Middle East, with an emphasis on Hezbollah, Lebanon, Israel, and Iran. (Books about Iraq, publishers tell me, no longer sell well.)

Though I'm probably not the best judge of my own work, I'm nevertheless confident that what I've written so far is some of the best material I have ever produced. And I'm enjoying the process of writing it much more than I thought I would.

My monthly income, though, is taking a hit because I'm spending time on a book that might otherwise be spent on writing that pays. Finding the right balance between writing short pieces for money to live on and working on a long project that doesn't pay (yet) isn't easy. No matter how I choose to manage my time right now, I cannot finish this book in a reasonable amount of time and simultaneously earn as much as I need to. My expenses are low, but they are not zero.

So I'd like to ask a serious favor of those of you who can afford it.

Everyone who donates a thousand dollars or more for this project will see their name on the Acknowledgements page of my book and will receive a signed and numbered copy when it is published. I'm not asking those of you who earn a middle class salary or less to donate that kind of money. I can't afford to give anyone a thousand dollars. Most people can't. A few can, though, and if you're one of those people and you decide to help me out, your name goes in my book.

The book will be published one way or another. A few publishers are interested in the manuscript already, and if none choose to publish it, I'll publish it myself through There is no chance that I'll spend this much time and energy on a book only to watch it languish unread in my desk drawer. I have an audience of thousands for it right here.

Donations of any size are appreciated, as always. Believe me, every little bit helps free up the time, energy, and attention I need for the book. And I am more grateful for that kind of assistance than words or an in-print Acknowledgement could ever convey.

And don't worry: I won't let this Web site go dark in the meantime. I owe it to you all to continue publishing here, and I have more on the way.

You can make a one-time donation through Pay Pal:

Alternatively, you can make recurring monthly payments.

$10 monthly subscription:
 border= $25 monthly subscription:
 border= $50 monthly subscription:
 border= $100 monthly subscription:
 border= $500 monthly subscription:
$1000 monthly subscription:

If you would like to donate and you don't want to send money over the Internet, please consider sending a check or money order to:

Michael Totten
P.O. Box 312
Portland, OR 97207-0312

Many thanks in advance.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at September 1, 2009 9:47 PM

Very much appreciate the perspective and information you provide Mike.

Can't afford a grand, but I've added a little bit via PP.


Posted by: Ron Snyder Author Profile Page at September 2, 2009 8:44 AM

Good luck, Mr. Totten. I look forward to reading your book.

Posted by: Sharmuta Author Profile Page at September 2, 2009 9:24 AM

Could be a big dilemma if the above commenter actually decides to kick in a grand for the book.

"First of all, a very big thank you to, uh, `Sharmuta'..."

And imagine a bunch more people with obscene pseudonyms contribute. Yikes!

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at September 2, 2009 10:13 AM

My wife and I both lost our jobs, and we cut a lot of things: health insurance, meals out, clothes, etc.

I couldn't cut my (small) monthly contribution, though. No one else is doing what Michael's doing.

Posted by: TallDave Author Profile Page at September 2, 2009 10:38 AM

I can't afford to donate, Michael, as I've only just started to get work again myself. But you're welcome to use the limerick I wrote for you...

Posted by: Cato the Elder Author Profile Page at September 2, 2009 10:50 AM

You should be getting 25 bucks a month from me but, with two of my kids getting married this summer, the thousands are getting scarce. Just let me buy a couple signed at an inflated price when you are ready.

Posted by: Mike K Author Profile Page at September 2, 2009 12:53 PM

While I can't afford the $1k, I did just sign up to contribute the equivalent of a six-pack every month. Cheers.

Posted by: robfairbank Author Profile Page at September 2, 2009 1:07 PM

Thanks, everybody! I'm sending out personal thanks to everyone who donates, but I want to say it again publicly here.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at September 4, 2009 7:26 PM

Hi Michael,

I cannot give a thousand dollars ... however, I just published my book using Booksurge (affiliated with Including editing, it only came to a couple thousand dollars. Just saying.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading your book when and if you get it published.

Posted by: bjryder Author Profile Page at September 6, 2009 2:56 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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